A hero Beligian Malinois named Killer has received an award for protecting African Rhinos from poachers. The African White Rhinois in danger of becoming extinct.
For the last four years, Killer has worked hard catching poachers and is responsible for the arrest of 115 people.
These statistic make the awesome dog the most successful working dog in the Kruger National Park’s Special Operations Team.
Recently, the hero dog was recognized for his work and was given the prestigious PDSA medal for the important role he has played in the fight against poachers to save the African Rhinos.
Killer, was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal by comedian and animal advocate Ricky Gervais. Prince Harry has also expressed his admiration for the dog’s stellar work.
Together with his handler Amos Mzimba, Killer is flown in by helicopter to track and apprehend armed poachers when they are spotted, or a dead rhino is found.
The partners can be deployed in the Kruger National Park several times a day. The Belgian Malinois’ skill in tracking and detecting suspects fast has played a very important role in keeping Amos and the rest of the team safe from harm.
Protecting wildlife is no easy job. Aside from covering acres of land, anti-poaching dogs and their handlers can also meet danger.
On one occasion, following a sighting of poachers in the infamous Bangu area, close to the border of Mozambique, Killer and Amos were flown inas part of a four-strong team that includedSouth African Defence Force personnel.
While trying to find a spoor to track, gunshots were fired and Killer and Amos became separated from the main group.
The Belgian Malinois picked up the poachers’spoor, and the pair tracked the suspects to the bottom of a cliff. When
Amos confronted them and asked themto surrender, theyfired a heavy calibre rifle shot and the bullet just missedAmos’shead. He returned fire – saving his and Killer’s lives – and then apprehended the suspects.
“It is an honour to have Killer by my side. It means a lot that he has been recognized for his skills and assistance in tracking and arresting poachers,” Amos said. “Thanks to him, we are arresting more poachers, but there is a lot more to be done if we are to save the rhino from extinction. Killer is invaluable in achieving that.”
“The PDSA Gold Medal recognizes extraordinary acts of courage and dedication in life-threatening situations, and Killer is indeed a worthy recipient,” PDSA Director General, Jan McLoughlin, said. “His contribution to saving the rhino population has been truly remarkable. His track-record is astounding and we are honored to recognize his fantastic work in this way.”
The PDSA Gold Medal award, which is the animal equivalent of the George Cross, was formally presented to Killer by Ricky Gervais.
“Killer does fantastic work in the Kruger National Park. Rhino’s are wonderful creatures that are being killed in their hundreds by these poachers,” he said. “Killer and his colleagues are fighting back. He helped capture dozens of poachers in the last year alone, thanks to his amazing courage and dedication. He’s making a huge contribution to rhino protection in South Africa.”
With the number of rhino killings increasing from 448 in 2011 to 1215 in 2014, anti-poaching dogs like Killer play an integral part of the fight against poaching.
On behalf of the PDSA, Gervais announced K9 Killer’s award in a special video released on January 7.
The PDSA Gold Medal is the highest honor a civilian animal can receive for bravery and devotion.
Killer is the 24th animal to receive the PDSA Gold Medal since the award was instituted in 2001.
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